As you know, the Obama-appointed National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) several years ago promulgated a new rule designed to shorten the time between a union’s successful organizing campaign and the resulting certification election. This rule, called the “Ambush Rule” or “Quickie Election Rule” by opponents because, as a result of the rule, an employer could face a successful organizing campaign of which he/she was not even aware, and the abbreviated time between the notice and the election made it very difficult for the employer to adequately prepare for the election, or to communicate with employees on the impact of unionization.
Various versions of the Ambush Rule went through successful and then unsuccessful court challenges, in which NAW participated, and a final rule took effect in 2014.
Last year the new GOP-majority NLRB published a Request for Information seeking comment on whether the Ambush Rule should be retained, retained with modifications, or rescinded entirely.
The Coalition for a Democratic Workplace (CDW), which NAW helps manage, prepared comments in response to the Board’s Request for Information. NAW joined those comments, which were filed with the NLRB today.
In summary, our comments call for the complete rescission of the Ambush rule:
The Board should rescind the Amended Rules because they have accomplished nothing but speeding up, by about two weeks, the time period within which employees vote on whether to be represented by a union. The Board has elevated speed above Congress’ express desire for full and lively debate during union organizing campaigns. Nothing in the text of the National Labor Relations Act (“Act”) directs the Board to conduct elections at the earliest possible moment unions might desire. But the Amended Rules do not merely shorten the time for the debate Congress sought to foster – they limit employers’ ability to know and identify who their statutory representatives are before the election by eliminating almost all pre-election representation hearings where, consistent with the dictates of the Act, such issues historically have been resolved.
To read the full CDW/NAW comments, go to:
Jade West, Senior Vice President-Government Relations
National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors